Sardinian & African Romance [split]

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Sardinian & African Romance [split]

Post by Isfendil » 07 Feb 2017 01:45

I am reading Grandgent's introduction to vulgar latin and have learned from it that apparently African Latin was the most free with its word formation. Now, I've already started my semi agglutinating romlang (I was sure that it would always be South Romance anyway) and committed to this idea, but given that, thanks to muslim records, we know that Sardinian is the last surviving branch of African Romance, is this true? I have heard that Sardinian is downright bizarre. I am unsure if it preserves the case endings (I'm pretty sure that it doesn't) but what makes it more strange?

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Post by Avo » 07 Feb 2017 19:58

Isfendil wrote:I am reading Grandgent's introduction to vulgar latin and have learned from it that apparently African Latin was the most free with its word formation. Now, I've already started my semi agglutinating romlang (I was sure that it would always be South Romance anyway) and committed to this idea, but given that, thanks to muslim records, we know that Sardinian is the last surviving branch of African Romance, is this true? I have heard that Sardinian is downright bizarre. I am unsure if it preserves the case endings (I'm pretty sure that it doesn't) but what makes it more strange?
I'd say calling Sardinian downright bizarre is more than an exaggeration. It lacks innovative future forms along to Italian vedrò/French verrai (< *VIDĒRE HABEŌ) and generally merged Latin's long vowels with their short counterparts (as opposite to "general Romance" shifting them around) and its most conservative dialects lack the otherwise universal Romance palatalisation of velars before front vowels. Otherwise it's a a pretty basic Romance language. It doesn't preserve case endings by the way.

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Post by loglorn » 07 Feb 2017 20:43

Avo wrote:
Isfendil wrote:I am reading Grandgent's introduction to vulgar latin and have learned from it that apparently African Latin was the most free with its word formation. Now, I've already started my semi agglutinating romlang (I was sure that it would always be South Romance anyway) and committed to this idea, but given that, thanks to muslim records, we know that Sardinian is the last surviving branch of African Romance, is this true? I have heard that Sardinian is downright bizarre. I am unsure if it preserves the case endings (I'm pretty sure that it doesn't) but what makes it more strange?
I'd say calling Sardinian downright bizarre is more than an exaggeration. It lacks innovative future forms along to Italian vedrò/French verrai (< *VIDĒRE HABEŌ) and generally merged Latin's long vowels with their short counterparts (as opposite to "general Romance" shifting them around) and its most conservative dialects lack the otherwise universal Romance palatalisation of velars before front vowels. Otherwise it's a a pretty basic Romance language. It doesn't preserve case endings by the way.
I does have a somewhat unorthodox consonant inventory, with a lone voiced retroflex stop, and a contrast between β and v, if Wikipedia is to be trusted.
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Re: (L&N) Q&A Thread - Quick questions go here

Post by Avo » 07 Feb 2017 22:29

loglorn wrote:
Avo wrote:
Isfendil wrote:I am reading Grandgent's introduction to vulgar latin and have learned from it that apparently African Latin was the most free with its word formation. Now, I've already started my semi agglutinating romlang (I was sure that it would always be South Romance anyway) and committed to this idea, but given that, thanks to muslim records, we know that Sardinian is the last surviving branch of African Romance, is this true? I have heard that Sardinian is downright bizarre. I am unsure if it preserves the case endings (I'm pretty sure that it doesn't) but what makes it more strange?
I'd say calling Sardinian downright bizarre is more than an exaggeration. It lacks innovative future forms along to Italian vedrò/French verrai (< *VIDĒRE HABEŌ) and generally merged Latin's long vowels with their short counterparts (as opposite to "general Romance" shifting them around) and its most conservative dialects lack the otherwise universal Romance palatalisation of velars before front vowels. Otherwise it's a a pretty basic Romance language. It doesn't preserve case endings by the way.
I does have a somewhat unorthodox consonant inventory, with a lone voiced retroflex stop, and a contrast between β and v, if Wikipedia is to be trusted.
The lone retroflex from Latin geminate /l/ is a trait Sardinian shares with the majority of Southern Italian dialects, including its two standard languages (Neapolitan and Sicilian). I looked at the Wikipedia article and it clearly says that [β v] are allophones of /b f/ (note how, as far as I know, Latin /v/ corresponds to /b/ in Sardinian).

I probably shouldn't have erased the sentence "If Sardinian is bizarre, what does that make other Romance languages", because that's kind of my point. Sardinian isn't "the odd one out" compared to the rest of the language family.

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Post by Isfendil » 08 Feb 2017 00:02

Avo wrote:
loglorn wrote:
Avo wrote:
Isfendil wrote:I am reading Grandgent's introduction to vulgar latin and have learned from it that apparently African Latin was the most free with its word formation. Now, I've already started my semi agglutinating romlang (I was sure that it would always be South Romance anyway) and committed to this idea, but given that, thanks to muslim records, we know that Sardinian is the last surviving branch of African Romance, is this true? I have heard that Sardinian is downright bizarre. I am unsure if it preserves the case endings (I'm pretty sure that it doesn't) but what makes it more strange?
I'd say calling Sardinian downright bizarre is more than an exaggeration. It lacks innovative future forms along to Italian vedrò/French verrai (< *VIDĒRE HABEŌ) and generally merged Latin's long vowels with their short counterparts (as opposite to "general Romance" shifting them around) and its most conservative dialects lack the otherwise universal Romance palatalisation of velars before front vowels. Otherwise it's a a pretty basic Romance language. It doesn't preserve case endings by the way.
I does have a somewhat unorthodox consonant inventory, with a lone voiced retroflex stop, and a contrast between β and v, if Wikipedia is to be trusted.
The lone retroflex from Latin geminate /l/ is a trait Sardinian shares with the majority of Southern Italian dialects, including its two standard languages (Neapolitan and Sicilian). I looked at the Wikipedia article and it clearly says that [β v] are allophones of /b f/ (note how, as far as I know, Latin /v/ corresponds to /b/ in Sardinian).

I probably shouldn't have erased the sentence "If Sardinian is bizarre, what does that make other Romance languages", because that's kind of my point. Sardinian isn't "the odd one out" compared to the rest of the language family.
Why do you refer to them as Southern Italian dialects? Every source I see points to Sardinian constituting its own branch of the family let alone being a distinct language. Is this like the Chinese dialects?

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Post by Salmoneus » 08 Feb 2017 00:40

Avo wrote:
loglorn wrote:
Avo wrote:
Isfendil wrote:I am reading Grandgent's introduction to vulgar latin and have learned from it that apparently African Latin was the most free with its word formation. Now, I've already started my semi agglutinating romlang (I was sure that it would always be South Romance anyway) and committed to this idea, but given that, thanks to muslim records, we know that Sardinian is the last surviving branch of African Romance, is this true? I have heard that Sardinian is downright bizarre. I am unsure if it preserves the case endings (I'm pretty sure that it doesn't) but what makes it more strange?
I'd say calling Sardinian downright bizarre is more than an exaggeration. It lacks innovative future forms along to Italian vedrò/French verrai (< *VIDĒRE HABEŌ) and generally merged Latin's long vowels with their short counterparts (as opposite to "general Romance" shifting them around) and its most conservative dialects lack the otherwise universal Romance palatalisation of velars before front vowels. Otherwise it's a a pretty basic Romance language. It doesn't preserve case endings by the way.
I does have a somewhat unorthodox consonant inventory, with a lone voiced retroflex stop, and a contrast between β and v, if Wikipedia is to be trusted.
The lone retroflex from Latin geminate /l/ is a trait Sardinian shares with the majority of Southern Italian dialects, including its two standard languages (Neapolitan and Sicilian). I looked at the Wikipedia article and it clearly says that [β v] are allophones of /b f/ (note how, as far as I know, Latin /v/ corresponds to /b/ in Sardinian).
Or are allophones of /B v/. The underlying point remains that it distinguishes labiodental and labial fricatives. And has a retroflex.
And actually, apparently in Campidanian those labiodentals are the product of 'saltation': they're an allophone of /p/, while /b/ remains untouched. Same for /t/ and /k/.

And there's initial mutations! Mutations are pretty odd for a non-Celtic language!
(so, "computer" has inital [k], but "the computer" mutates that [k] into [ɣ])

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Post by loglorn » 08 Feb 2017 00:47

Isfendil wrote:
Avo wrote:
loglorn wrote:
Avo wrote:
Isfendil wrote:I am reading Grandgent's introduction to vulgar latin and have learned from it that apparently African Latin was the most free with its word formation. Now, I've already started my semi agglutinating romlang (I was sure that it would always be South Romance anyway) and committed to this idea, but given that, thanks to muslim records, we know that Sardinian is the last surviving branch of African Romance, is this true? I have heard that Sardinian is downright bizarre. I am unsure if it preserves the case endings (I'm pretty sure that it doesn't) but what makes it more strange?
I'd say calling Sardinian downright bizarre is more than an exaggeration. It lacks innovative future forms along to Italian vedrò/French verrai (< *VIDĒRE HABEŌ) and generally merged Latin's long vowels with their short counterparts (as opposite to "general Romance" shifting them around) and its most conservative dialects lack the otherwise universal Romance palatalisation of velars before front vowels. Otherwise it's a a pretty basic Romance language. It doesn't preserve case endings by the way.
I does have a somewhat unorthodox consonant inventory, with a lone voiced retroflex stop, and a contrast between β and v, if Wikipedia is to be trusted.
The lone retroflex from Latin geminate /l/ is a trait Sardinian shares with the majority of Southern Italian dialects, including its two standard languages (Neapolitan and Sicilian). I looked at the Wikipedia article and it clearly says that [β v] are allophones of /b f/ (note how, as far as I know, Latin /v/ corresponds to /b/ in Sardinian).

I probably shouldn't have erased the sentence "If Sardinian is bizarre, what does that make other Romance languages", because that's kind of my point. Sardinian isn't "the odd one out" compared to the rest of the language family.
Why do you refer to them as Southern Italian dialects? Every source I see points to Sardinian constituting its own branch of the family let alone being a distinct language. Is this like the Chinese dialects?
There is indeed a controversy akin to the 'Chinese dialects' with Sardinian, but i think he was just noting that Sardinian shares features with what are indeed Italian Dialects per se.
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Post by All4Ɇn » 08 Feb 2017 00:52

Salmoneus wrote:And there's initial mutations! Mutations are pretty odd for a non-Celtic language!
(so, "computer" has inital [k], but "the computer" mutates that [k] into [ɣ])
Ooh! You've peaked my interest. Where did you find this?

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Post by loglorn » 08 Feb 2017 01:22

All4Ɇn wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:And there's initial mutations! Mutations are pretty odd for a non-Celtic language!
(so, "computer" has inital [k], but "the computer" mutates that [k] into [ɣ])
Ooh! You've peaked my interest. Where did you find this?
The Wikipedia mentions that but it's only passing.
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Post by Xonen » 08 Feb 2017 01:23

Isfendil wrote:
Avo wrote:
loglorn wrote:
Avo wrote:
Isfendil wrote:I am reading Grandgent's introduction to vulgar latin and have learned from it that apparently African Latin was the most free with its word formation. Now, I've already started my semi agglutinating romlang (I was sure that it would always be South Romance anyway) and committed to this idea, but given that, thanks to muslim records, we know that Sardinian is the last surviving branch of African Romance, is this true? I have heard that Sardinian is downright bizarre. I am unsure if it preserves the case endings (I'm pretty sure that it doesn't) but what makes it more strange?
I'd say calling Sardinian downright bizarre is more than an exaggeration. It lacks innovative future forms along to Italian vedrò/French verrai (< *VIDĒRE HABEŌ) and generally merged Latin's long vowels with their short counterparts (as opposite to "general Romance" shifting them around) and its most conservative dialects lack the otherwise universal Romance palatalisation of velars before front vowels. Otherwise it's a a pretty basic Romance language. It doesn't preserve case endings by the way.
I does have a somewhat unorthodox consonant inventory, with a lone voiced retroflex stop, and a contrast between β and v, if Wikipedia is to be trusted.
The lone retroflex from Latin geminate /l/ is a trait Sardinian shares with the majority of Southern Italian dialects, including its two standard languages (Neapolitan and Sicilian). I looked at the Wikipedia article and it clearly says that [β v] are allophones of /b f/ (note how, as far as I know, Latin /v/ corresponds to /b/ in Sardinian).

I probably shouldn't have erased the sentence "If Sardinian is bizarre, what does that make other Romance languages", because that's kind of my point. Sardinian isn't "the odd one out" compared to the rest of the language family.
Why do you refer to them as Southern Italian dialects? Every source I see points to Sardinian constituting its own branch of the family let alone being a distinct language. Is this like the Chinese dialects?
As loglorn points out, Avo isn't necessarily including Sardinian in "Southern Italian dialects", just noting that it shares features with them (which is not the same thing, despite what some old-school binary tree models of language families might have you believe). However, calling Neapolitan and Sicilian dialects of Italian is still rather controversial by itself, AFAIU, so you do have a point there.

Also, Sardinian is in some ways the odd one out (at least in my understanding of that phrase), in that it does have some developments that are different from any other Romance language (as indeed Avo notes in the earlier post quoted here). But still, not bizarre by any means.

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Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » 08 Feb 2017 03:15

The classification of the Romance languages isn't a "done deal", but some Romance family trees I've seen have Sardinian as the only Romance language with its own branch to itself. That would make it the "odd one out". (Others have Venetian and Istriot by themselves, but some include them with other branches). Sardinian has archaic features that other Romance languages don't have.

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Post by Avo » 08 Feb 2017 03:16

Oh boy what have I started. First of all: I never said or meant that Sardinian has nothing particularly interesting going on.
Xonen wrote:Also, Sardinian is in some ways the odd one out (at least in my understanding of that phrase), in that it does have some developments that are different from any other Romance language (as indeed Avo notes in the earlier post quoted here). But still, not bizarre by any means.
Thank you. This is all I've been trying to say.

As for the odd one out, of course Sardinian has developments that are different from any other Romance langage. So does every other Romance language, they wouldn't be separate languages if they didn't. I just don't see how anything Sardinian does is more odd than, let's say, French eroding entire series of consonants away or Romanian innovating a whole new case system. But yeah, that's a matter of definition I guess.
Xonen wrote:As loglorn points out, Avo isn't necessarily including Sardinian in "Southern Italian dialects", just noting that it shares features with them (which is not the same thing, despite what some old-school binary tree models of language families might have you believe). However, calling Neapolitan and Sicilian dialects of Italian is still rather controversial by itself, AFAIU, so you do have a point there.
This one I see how it could be misleading. I personally don't feel comfortable at all calling Southern Italian (Italiano meridionale, as in "Romance varieties spoken in Southern Italy") dialects of Italian, let alone for the fact that a lot of Italians dismiss it as merely "bad Italian". I meant dialects of Southern Italian, of which Sicilian and especially Neapolitan kind of are literary variants. Southern Italy sometimes gets lumped together into Neapolitan, but dialects on the other coast lack entire isoglosses that make out Neapolitan, so Southern Italian, while potentially misleading, is still the most neutral way to go in my opinion.
Salmoneus wrote:And there's initial mutations! Mutations are pretty odd for a non-Celtic language!
(so, "computer" has inital [k], but "the computer" mutates that [k] into [ɣ])
I guess this is a matter of analysis too. Romance articles tend to be clitics and Sardinian has intervocalic lenition, thus a consonant followed by an article ending in a vowel will show the lenited form. Out of the big Romance languages I'm least familiar with Spanish, how does it treat its voiced plosives? Wikipedia says they're lenited "in all places except after a pause, after a nasal consonant, or—in the case of /d/—after a lateral consonant".

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Post by Sumelic » 08 Feb 2017 03:38

Avo wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:And there's initial mutations! Mutations are pretty odd for a non-Celtic language!
(so, "computer" has inital [k], but "the computer" mutates that [k] into [ɣ])
I guess this is a matter of analysis too. Romance articles tend to be clitics and Sardinian has intervocalic lenition, thus a consonant followed by an article ending in a vowel will show the lenited form. Out of the big Romance languages I'm least familiar with Spanish, how does it treat its voiced plosives? Wikipedia says they're lenited "in all places except after a pause, after a nasal consonant, or—in the case of /d/—after a lateral consonant".
My understanding is that Sardinian doesn't have morphologically conditioned initial mutations like Celtic: it's entirely a matter of sandhi, although this does involve the loss of and consequent neutralization of the contrasts between voiced obstruents, so it's more complicated phonemically than the most basic type of Spanish allophony where no neutralizations have to occur (I've read that intervocalic /b d g/, especially /d/, may be lost in some contexts in Spanish as well, though).

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Post by qwed117 » 08 Feb 2017 05:21

I would say Sardinian is not a particularly interesting language (alone) within the Romance languages. It's a good example of the features that the "Basin" languages are known for. Or rather, it's an amalgamation of all the unique features of the bunch, and throwing a little of its own mix in there.
The notable "(West) Basin" Romance languages are really Catalan, Spanish, Southern Romance, Southern Italian, Italian (and Sardinian of course). Each has a unique feature that is only otherwise found in Sardinian.

Starting with Catalan: Both Catalan and Sardinian share "salat", a feature of the articles in both languages. The articles come from ipse instead of ille. More recently, Catalan has lost this unique feature as a result of growing Spanish and French influence.

Spanish and SardinIan both share a multitude of features that together make them unique. Firstly is the frication of the generally palatalized laterals in both languages. Take mulierem from Latin. While in Italian, this becomes mugliere, in Spanish, it becomes mujer (from an earlier /muSer/) while in Sardinian it becomes muzer /mutser/.

Southern Romance is an obvious fellow to this conversation, donating its vowel system to the language it is likely the most related to.

Southern Italian is another obvious one. The sound change ll>dd is identical to one from Neapolitan.

Italian didn't really contribute much to Sardinian before the 1500s. That being said, it is the only one of the Italo-Western languages to include ct>tt, which Sardinian does as well. That being said, (DAIM-)Romanian does also do this as well. This is probably the least convincing "Basin" link to Sardinian.

That being said, don't pretend that Sardinian is *only* an amalgamation of those languages. Sardinian is a strange language, and up to 50% of Toponyms of the region have no known origin (not even OEH). As mentioned by Sal, Xon and Avo, it displays many "unusual" features. Consonant mutation does indeed occur in Logu, likely an allophonic innovation brought over by Spaniards in the 13-16th Century. I posted an example of this in the translations. I believe it was "the living fish swims in the water". That being said, there is evidence of the lenition occurring much earlier. Cliticizing the articles is a very Francesque feature, even if the article is the tiniest bit different. The initial rhotic prothesis is like Gascon, and by transitivity is Vasconic. The rhotic-lateral "confusion" shouts Galician-Portuguese. It's also notable for retaining unusual words, especially older words from Latin. Take grogu (from crocus) meaning "yellow", only retained in it and Catalan, and displaying the consonant mutation mentioned earlier. I would be sure to bet that groc in Catalan comes from Sardinian. Or take the word "emmo", the only descendant of immo from Latin. But it displays an initial vowel mutation that almost assures communication with the Western Romance languages at this point. Or "fatzo", with an affricate where it shouldn't exist. But what about sC words? They became isC, which would be prototypical of the Western Romance (-Italian) esC-.
Sardinian is a clusterf***. It's that mix we would call unrealistic if it were anywhere but our planet.

-

Regarding the actual question at hand, No. Sardinian, unlike most Romance languages retains no non-pronominal casing. Not even in question words. The only Romance language that has a full casing system is DA-Romanian. The others only have it in que/quem questions.
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Post by Isfendil » 08 Feb 2017 14:16

Thank you Qwed, that was a very nice conclusion. It's very pleasing, as a matter of fact.

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Post by Isfendil » 08 Feb 2017 15:51

Isfendil wrote:Thank you Qwed, that was a very nice conclusion. It's very pleasing, as a matter of fact.
Actually, I have a follow up question- exactly how much unorthodox Latin does each romlang preserve that is lost in all the others? Words such as immo (what do immo and fatzo mean, by the way?)

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Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » 08 Feb 2017 17:54

Qwed, what's "Southern Romance"? I've never heard that term before. According to Wikipedia, it's a controversial grouping of Sardinian, Sassarese, and Corsican, but are you using it some other way?

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Post by Isfendil » 08 Feb 2017 19:30

KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:Qwed, what's "Southern Romance"? I've never heard that term before. According to Wikipedia, it's a controversial grouping of Sardinian, Sassarese, and Corsican, but are you using it some other way?
It's mainly due to this quote from Muhammad al-Idrisi's history that linguists think of possible distinctions: ""The Sardinians are a nation of Romans from Africa, (they) live like the Berbers, and shun any other nation of Rome. These people are courageous and valiant, that (they) never part with their weapons."

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Post by qwed117 » 09 Feb 2017 04:20

Isfendil wrote:
KaiTheHomoSapien wrote:Qwed, what's "Southern Romance"? I've never heard that term before. According to Wikipedia, it's a controversial grouping of Sardinian, Sassarese, and Corsican, but are you using it some other way?
It's mainly due to this quote from Muhammad al-Idrisi's history that linguists think of possible distinctions: ""The Sardinians are a nation of Romans from Africa, (they) live like the Berbers, and shun any other nation of Rome. These people are courageous and valiant, that (they) never part with their weapons."
As Isfendil mentioned, Southern Romance is a theoretical grouping. However, it's more based off of St. Augustine's short mention that vowel length meant nothing to Berbers. This would be a feature shared between the African Romance and Sardinian, which together are occasionally termed "Southern Romance". I should have used African Romance in this specific situation, but I think my point still stands.
Isfendil wrote:
Isfendil wrote:Thank you Qwed, that was a very nice conclusion. It's very pleasing, as a matter of fact.
Actually, I have a follow up question- exactly how much unorthodox Latin does each romlang preserve that is lost in all the others? Words such as immo (what do immo and fatzo mean, by the way?)
"Emmo" in Sardinian (IMMO in Latin) means "yes" (and "indeed" in latin). It isn't retained in any other Romance language. "Fatzo" is "I do" in Sardinian, coming from FACIO in Latin, where we expect facchio /fakjo/ in Sardinian.

I know that Albanian retains around 40 Latin words not found in other languages (despite not being Romance), so I would imagine the variance is probably large. I wouldn't be surprised if it is low in Italian and French, and much higher in DAIM-Romanian and Sardinian. Maybe from 3 words per top 200 words to 10 per top 200 words
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Post by KaiTheHomoSapien » 09 Feb 2017 06:02

Ah, yes, African Romance. I never knew anyone had identified features it had, but that's interesting. It makes sense that it might be connected to Sardinian too. Too bad there's no extant Romance language spoken there. Wonder what would it be like--if Tunisians spoke Tunisian, an African Romance language. I'm sure some conlanger has already created that one :mrgreen:

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